Are energy tariffs still too complicated?

A new survey suggests energy tariffs are still too complex.

Which? has carried out research and discovered that only three in ten people (28%) could identify the cheapest deal when supplied with a range of tariffs using Ofgems’s Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR) proposal.

This figure dramatically increased when participants were offered a range of single rate tariffs displayed like petrol prices with eight in ten (84%) people getting the right answer.

Not only did more people get the correct answer but the single rate system also scored highly for, helpfulness (53%), ease of understanding (62%) and speed of use (63%). Most importantly two in three (65%) of people stated they preferred this system compared to one in ten that chose the TCR as there preferred method.

Ofgem’s idea was to find an easy way to compare different tariffs. However, under their current plan they will only be offering an indication of the cheapest deal based on an assumption of medium usage of both electricity and gas.

Which? concluded from this study that many consumers would be likely to pick the wrong tariff and pay over the odds for their energy.

Which? Executive Director Richard Lloyd has said: “Energy prices and the biggest worry for consumers but ofgem’s current proposals will fail to help people find the best deal … you shouldn’t need a math degree to work out the cheapest energy deal … ” (EnergyLiveNews, 03/06/2013)

The Which? survey questioned 2,000 people and discovered that over half (55%) had never compared their energy prices and only one in four had actually switched supplier before.

How do you save money? Why not try our energy calculator; simply input your information and we compare the market for you. Find the cheapest deal and see how much you could save.